Melissa Thompson is a patient advocate, health/care strategist, technologist, entrepreneur, and cancer patient.
Notably, Melissa was the driving force behind the creation of the eponymous policy change that ensures that people diagnosed with cancer have insurance coverage for fertility preservation prior to chemotherapy. "Melissa Law for Fertility Preservation", was enacted by Governor Dannel Malloy on June 20, 2017. This accomplishment was the result of advocating for a policy change based upon a personal problem she encountered, that yieded a solution that will help the lives and families of future patients.
Through a combination of creativity, dedication, empathy, and authenticity, Melissa advocates for patient-driven innovation and exponential progress in healthcare systems and policy, HIT, cancer, and chronic disease management - through speaking engagements, policy initiatives, and consulting.
Melissa works with organizations to strengthen their digital strategy, marketing, leadership, business development, technology initiatives, and operations, with an underlying theme of patient-driven innovation. The companies with which she has worked range from a solution that addresses financial toxicity in cancer care by providing patients access to financial resources, to middleware as a hospital’s value-based care management tool to mitigate compliance risk.
Melissa has been a featured speaker on healthcare innovation, advocacy and financial toxicity in cancer care. Her speaking engagements include the Women in Government's Annual Legislative Summit, the PAN Foundation's Cost-Sharing Roundtable, New York Pharma Forum, The Beryl Institute's first Patient Grand Rounds, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the Cleveland Clinic's Medical Innovation Summit, Google, JP Morgan Healthcare, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and the American Cancer Society.
Melissa is a representative on the Patient and Family Advisory Committee (PFACQ) at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where she sits on the Pharmacy QA, Integrative Medicine, Technology, Informatics, fertility + cancer, Strategy, and Innovation Committees. She advises the Innovative Molecular Analysis Technologies (IMAT) initiative, as an NIH/NCI Patient Advocate. Melissa is a standing member of the Merit Review Board for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Initiative (PCORI), with a concentration on the Improving Healthcare Systems grant track.
Melissa is an active volunteer for the American Cancer Society and sits on the Executive Committee for Women Leading the Way to Wellness, as well as the Young Professionals Against Cancer (YPAC) and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. Melissa is a member of the Greenwich Medical Reserve Corps, the Society for Science and the Public, and an active participant in ACS CAN, the Society for Participatory Medicine, and The Beryl Institute.
Melissa was the founder and CEO of TalkSession – a healthcare technology platform that virtually integrated mental healthcare providers with patients, using superior predictive analytics for remote patient monitoring and care.
Melissa was lauded as Entrepreneur of the Year and Innovator of the Year, awarded by the International Women in Business (2013). Melissa was selected as a “Healthcare Transformer” for the GE & StartUp Health Academy and is an active alumna of non-profit, Springboard Enterprises’ Life Sciences.
WIRED’s Dec. 2013 issue featured TalkSession, guest-curated by Bill Gates, as a “game-changer” under Gates’ headline essay, “Let’s Fix the World.“
In September 2013, TalkSession was highlighted by the White House as an innovative technology that would change the future of behavioral healthcare in a presentation attended by President Barack Obama and live-streamed on WhiteHouse.gov.
Previously, Melissa was an Analyst at Goldman Sachs.
Melissa holds an MBA from Columbia Business School, a BA in Economics and Chinese from Barnard College, Columbia University, and studied at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, China. She has taken additional coursework at Yale School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Cancer Biology, Breast Cancer, Genomic Data, and Data Science.
She resides in Connecticut with her daughter, Poppy.